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Prevention Research Center, Division of Prevention & Population Sciences, UNM Department of Pediatrics

MSC11 6145
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
2703 Frontier Ave NE
Research Incubator Building (RIB) Suite 120

Phone: (505) 272-4462
Fax: (505) 272-3955

Completed Work 2001-2015

Use the accordions to explore the work conducted over the years.

2012-2015: Risk Assessment Project for Students (RAPS)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2015
Sources of Funding: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, NM Department of Health; UNM Department of Pediatrics 

RAPSHow can we engage all students – particularly those least likely to participate in civic action – in using and understanding health data to improve their own and their communities’ health? Dr. Peñaloza’s Health Evaluation and Research Team (HEART) of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) has been funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the New Mexico Department of Health, and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to develop and test a pilot program called the Risk Assessment Project for Students (RAPS). 

Research on youth health has identified the risk factors for the leading causes of injury, chronic disease and mortality; however, youth are not meaningfully involved with these data except as respondents. Without access to important health risk data and training in understanding their impact, youth have limited understanding of the health risk of their behaviors and their voices are not included in discussions of interventions. RAPS works with adult and youth stakeholders at schools and communities to build youth health literacy, to help youth understand health risk behaviors and design action plans that address issues of importance to them.

Our long term goal is to improve youth health risk behaviors and protective factors among youth through the implementation of a culturally-tailored Positive Youth Development (PYD) project. The overall objective of this project is to use qualitative and quantitative methods to: (1) identify the most effective model for implementation of the project; (2) improve youth health literacy, self-efficacy and community engagement; and (3) engage minority and disadvantaged youth participants. Our central hypothesis is that this project will enhance student health literacy, self-efficacy and community engagement, leading to improved health behavior choices and development of new policies, curricula and programs as a result of the youth activities. 

Project findings identify effective models for youth engagement in their own health and health policies in their schools and communities. 

The specific aims of the project are to engage youth in (1) understanding and analyzing the risk behavior data and identifying areas of concern; and (2) engaging in community dialogue to develop action plans. Outcomes of these aims will be to (1) increase student self-efficacy, health literacy and community engagement; and (2) involve youth voices in the development of health policies and programs that are meaningful to the youth themselves. Participants will develop greater skills for addressing their own health behaviors and become effective advocates for youth health issues in their communities. 

For additional information about HEART activities or the RAPS project, please contact Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or lpenaloza@salud.unm.edu

2009-2014: PRC Core Research Project: VIVA - Step Into Cuba

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: October 2009 – 
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Village Interventions and Venues for Activity (VIVA) project provides technical assistance, education, training, assessment and evaluation to the Step Into Cuba project. Step Into Cuba is a community initiative of the Nacimiento Community Foundation (Cuba, NM) with the goal of reducing chronic disease and improving health and health-related quality of life by increasing physical activity and access to natural environments in Cuba. Together, VIVA-Step Into Cuba will develop, implement, and investigate the dissemination and implementation of five effective population-level strategies to promote physical activity that are recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services.
 
Specific evidence-based strategies include four highly recommended strategies: (1) community-wide campaigns; (2) individually-adapted health behavior change programs; (3) social support interventions in community contexts; and (4) creating and improving access to places for physical activity combined with informational outreach; and one recommended strategy: (use of point-of-decision prompts (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 1996).

ARTICLES

Increasing Physical Activity: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services
Task Force on Community Preventive Services -- October 1, 2001

We will evaluate the dissemination and implementation of these strategies to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyle through a prospective study. We will also evaluate the success of the collaboration between the academic Prevention Research Center (PRC) and community (Step Into Cuba Alliance) partnership.

For more information about the VIVA – Step Into Cuba, please contact: 
Dr. Sally Davis at sdavis@salud.unm.edu
Phone: (505) 272-4462.
Website: Step Into Cuba
Watch the HSC video on You Tube


December 2012: Step Into Cuba:

Based in scenic Cuba, New Mexico, Step Into Cuba is a program to promote physical activity through development of sidewalks, paths, trails, social support, and opportunities for lifestyle change.

Step into Cuba is guided by a partnership of organizations and individuals – the Step Into Cuba Alliance – and coordinated by the Nacimiento Community Foundation, a local non-profit organization.

Step Into Cuba is the core project of the University of New Mexico’s Prevention Research Center. The PRC assists with implementing evidence-based strategies and conducts research on the program’s effectiveness.

The UNM PRC, along with the New Mexico Department of Health and the UNM Communications and Marketing Department, recently produced this series of videos on the Step Into Cuba program, in an effort to help other New Mexico communities launch similar efforts.

2012-2013: Student Health Behaviors: Epidemiological Data in Action with PhotoVoice

Principal Investigator: Linda J. Peñaloza, PhD
Start and End Dates: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013
Source of Funding: UNM Clinical Sciences Translation Center

Dr. Peñaloza’s Health Evaluation and Research Team (HEART) of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) was funded by the UNM CTSC to add a PhotoVoice component to the Risk Assessment Project for Students (RAPS) pilot program. 

Our long term goal is to improve youth health risk behaviors and protective factors among New Mexico youth through the translation of a culturally-tailored Positive Youth Development (PYD) program, including an evidence-based PhotoVoice component piloted in two New Mexico high schools. The objective of the proposed study is to utilize mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods to (a) evaluate the experience of youth and adults participating in the PYD program, (b) evaluate changes in health literacy, self-efficacy, and community engagement among participants, and (c) evaluate the strengths/limitations of the Photovoice component to increase student participation in the PYD program. 

Our central hypothesis is that adding a PhotoVoice component to the existing PYD program will enhance student involvement in the project and increase participation, particularly among minority, socio-economically disadvantaged, and low academic-achieving students. The rationale is that once we know what works to engage students in New Mexico to help us contextualize and understand health risk surveillance data through this pilot project, we will be able to expand the study to other high schools statewide. Ongoing PhotoVoice work is continuing through the RAPS project.

For additional information about HEART activities, the RAPS project or the PhotoVoice supplement, please contact Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu.

2012-2013: HEALS - Implementation of Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Youth

Principal Investigator: Alberta Kong, MD, MPH
Start and End Dates: 2012 –
Sources of Funding: Blue Cross Blue Shield

The purpose of the proposed project is to test an academic-community partnership approach for prevention and intervention of obesity in a vocational training center that serves economically disadvantaged youth 16 to 24 years of age. The proposed study is of timely importance because obesity is rapidly becoming the most common chronic medical condition affecting children and adolescents. With the increasing rate of adolescents becoming and remaining obese into adulthood, the trend in adult obesity continues to be high, exceeding 30% in most age and sex groups. Lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and physical activity, are amenable to modification and are the first line of treatment in the management of obesity. 

We propose to facilitate the implementation of the Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles (HEALS) program created specifically for students attending a national vocational training center and assess students’ health outcomes. The success of this approach has the potential to be replicated nationally to help narrow the gap in health disparities among economically disadvantaged youth. The vocational training center has a current enrollment of 429 students with 59% who are categorized as overweight or obese and 36% who are categorized as obese.

This academic-community partnership will address prevention/intervention of obesity, a significant contributor of type 2 diabetes. Effectiveness of HEALS will be assessed in two related domains: adiposity-related outcomes and behavior change.

For more information please contact: 
Alberta Kong, MD, MPH at phone: (505) 272-4462, or AKong@salud.unm.edu

2009-2013: Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba

Principal Investigator: Patricia Keane, MS, RD, LD.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba Project Director 
Start and End Dates: December 2009 - December 2013
Sources of Funding: Robert Wood Johnson FoundationHealthy Kids, Healthy Communities

The Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba (HKHC) project focuses on policy and environmental changes to improve the health of children in and around Cuba, New Mexico.

Project goals include:

  • Improve the availability of and access to healthy food in Cuba and the surrounding Native communities through initiatives such as farmers’ markets, community and backyard gardening and healthy vending at county fairgrounds;
  • Develop, enhance and increase access to safe outdoor play areas at the Village of Cuba St. Francis of Assisi Park; 
  • Identify and advocate for pedestrian-friendly and traffic calming measures along US Highway 550 in Cuba, and
  • Encourage the use of Cuba’s park, school recreational facilities and scenic lands surrounding Cuba by creating connected walkways and trails 

For more information about Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba, please contact Patricia Keane, Project Director at (505) 272-4462 or email at: PKeane@salud.unm.edu

2009-2013: Healthy Kids New Mexico Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Theresa H Cruz, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: August 2009 – July 2013
Sources of Funding: NM Department of Health

The UNM PRC provides technical assistance to and evaluation of the NM Department of Health’s (DOH) obesity prevention efforts in New Mexico. The project includes efforts to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce obesity among children in New Mexico. The project is focused on community-level improvements through policy and environmental changes that lead to behavior changes. We provided technical assistance in the development of a statewide childhood obesity surveillance system, measurement protocols, and an evaluation plan for statewide activities. We continue to provide technical assistance with research on best practices related to physical activity, nutrition,and obesity prevention; and, the development of evaluation instruments and protocols. We also use mixed methods to conduct case studies of prevention efforts in the focus communities.

For additional information about Healthy Kids New Mexico Evaluation please contact Dr. Theresa H. Cruz at (505) 272-4462 or ThCruz@salud.unm.edu 

2008-2013: Developing Community-Based Interventions for American Indian Mental Health

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica R. Goodkind, PhD
Start and End Dates: April 22, 2008 – March 31, 2013 
Source of Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health (NIH/NIMH)

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to develop evidence-based and culturally-relevant intervention strategies to positively impact the well-being of marginalized, disproportionately traumatized and underserved populations. American Indians have endured a history of genocide and oppression, which has resulted in intergenerational trauma and disproportionately high prevalence of mental health disorders and substance abuse. Available mental health services are often not culturally appropriate and do not build on the traditional cultural practices and strengths of Native American communities. These factors have contributed to numerous disparities, which the training and research within the K award are designed to address. The objective of the research component of the award is to improve, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based program to promote the mental health and well-being of Diné families by strengthening relationships between parents and children, reconnecting families to traditional culture and practices, healing historical trauma, and promoting positive parenting practices.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Jeesica Goodkind, (505) 272-4462 or JGoodkind@salud.unm.edu.

2007-2012: National Children's Study (NCS)

National Children's Study (NCS)

Principal Investigator: Robert Annett, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 2007 – September 2012
Source of Funding: NICHD, NIEHS, CDC and EPA.

The Children’s Act of 2000 authorized a consortium of federal agencies to conduct the National Children’s Study (NCS). The NCS is a long-term observational research project that seeks to better understand the link between environmental influences and children’s health and development. The study broadly defines ‘environmental’ to include many factors, i.e. geographical locations, biological, social and chemical factors, physical surroundings, behavioral, cultural and familial influences and genetics. The NCS will follow the development of approximately 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, from 105 locations from across the US. Valencia County in New Mexico was chosen as one of the study locations.  The Principal Investigator for the local NCS is Dr. Robert Annett, a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. The National Children’s Study addresses child health research questions on multiple issues, to provide as much information as possible on children’s health and development. Study areas the NCS will address include: obesity, diabetes and physical development; injuries, asthma, pregnancy-related outcomes; and child development and mental health.

In March, 2010, the Valencia County Study Location was selected as an NCS ‘Vanguard Location Site’ to begin the NCS.   There are currently 37 active NCS Vanguard sites across the nation, each working toward completing the goals of the National Children’s Study.  Seven of these sites began recruiting participants in 2009, and the remaining 30 sites will begin recruiting in summer/fall of 2010.  All sites have a planned duration of 21 years following enrollment.

 In Valencia County, the NCS recruitment will be done through ‘Enhanced Based Household Recruitment,’ which means NCS staff will go door-to-door in Valencia County asking pregnant or potentially pregnant women to join this exciting study.  In addition, potential participants may be recruited at doctor’s offices or hospitals  Over the next 4 years, the NCS goal for Valencia County is to have 1000 women, their babies and the babies’ fathers participating in the National Children’s Study!

The NCS Valencia County office and lab space is located at the University of New Mexico – Valencia Branch. We are fortunate to have this beautiful and functional setting to house staff and serve as an informational center for NCS participants. One of the aims of the NCS is to hire Valencia County residents to work on their study in their community.

The local NCS Community Advisory Council is a group of enthusiastic and supportive Valencia County Residents who serve to promote the study and offer their expertise in how to best advance the study in their community. This dedicated group of individuals offers their help to NCS investigators on all study matters. They are the voice of the community and their input is greatly valued.

As part of our continuous outreach and engagement with the residents of Valencia County, the National Children’s Study has established an NCS award for the Central New Mexico Regional Research Challenge, better known as the New Mexico Science Fair.  As of March 2010, the NCS award has been presented to two Valencia County students who completed research projects related to children’s health. We are proud and encouraged by these young scientists in Valencia County!

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2007-2011: Prevention Research Center (PRC) Injury Prevention Project (IPP)

Principal Investigator: Susan DeFrancesco, JD, MPH
Start and End Dates: December 12, 2007 – June 30, 2008
Source of Funding: New Mexico Department of Health

Injuries are the leading cause of death for New Mexicans, ages 1-44. Each day in New Mexico, an average of nearly 5 people die from an injury, approximately 40 other New Mexicans are hospitalized, more than 705 are seen in emergency departments, and another 2,035 visit other health care facilities for treatment of their injuries. The estimated cost of injuries in New Mexico is over $4 billion annually.

Injuries exact a tremendous toll on our state’s families and our state’s resources. Most injuries can be prevented, however, by applying an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to injury prevention that focuses on promoting safe environments, safe products, and policies that encourage safe behaviors and practices.

In January 2007, the New Mexico Department of Health’s Injury and Behavioral Health Epidemiology Bureau contracted with the Prevention Research Center (PRC) to provide for capacity building and professional development in injury prevention for the staff of the NMDOH Office of Injury Prevention (OIP) and their community partners. This collaborative work involves:

Strategic Planning: The PRC is providing strategic planning expertise and facilitation for the development of a statewide injury prevention strategic plan. The process involves goal-setting, the development of objectives and strategies, and an implementation plan. The plan, incorporating the input of the OIP staff as well as a coalition of injury prevention practitioners from around the state, provides a strategy for increasing the effectiveness and impact of injury prevention programs and activities through community collaboration, capacity building, and action.

Technical Assistance : The PRC assists the OIP staff and their partners with developing, planning, and evaluating injury prevention programs and provides information and resource materials on evidence-based, effective injury prevention strategies. As part of this work, the PRC serves as the evaluator for an OIP initiative involving the Statewide Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Team. This project involves assessing the needs of sexual violence primary prevention programs in the state, providing recommendations for capacity building, and developing evaluation tools for use by local prevention programs. The PRC is also assisting the OIP staff with the development of community presentations, a website, and other public information tools to facilitate public access to injury prevention information.

Training: The PRC provides training on various topics including the strategic planning process, program planning, and evaluation. The PRC has also arranged for nationally renowned speakers in the injury prevention field to provide presentations and workshops for OIP staff and their community partners.

Resource Directory: The PRC is working with the OIP staff and their partners on the development of an online resource inventory of injury prevention programs, activities, and legislation statewide. An online survey has been designed to collect data from injury prevention organizations and service providers. The data are entered into a user-friendly, searchable directory. The injury prevention community and the public will use the resource directory to identify organizations working on specific injury topics in particular geographic areas and retrieve information about injury prevention resources and legislation.

“If some infectious disease came along that affected children [in the way that injuries do], there would be a huge public outcry and we would be told to spare no expense to find a cure and to be quick about it.” Statement by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop before the Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs, and Alcoholism, U.S. Senate, February 9, 1989.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2006-2011: CHILE - Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: February 1, 2006 – February 28, 2011
Source of Funding: National Institutes of Health

The Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) has concluded its five year grant at the Prevention Research Center. CHILE developed, implemented, and evaluated a multidisciplinary, trans-community obesity prevention program among American Indian and Hispanic children ages 3 to 5 enrolled in Head Start programs across rural New Mexico. Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for low-income families. The project, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), was implemented in sixteen Head Start centers in rural communities throughout the state. Half of the Head Start centers received the CHILE intervention and the second half received the intervention beginning in Fall 2010.

From 2007 through 2011, the CHILE project team conducted measurements at sixteen participating Head Start sites. CHILE project staff measured height and weighed children at two points during each school year. CHILE also measured children's activity level, ascertained how much time they spent watching television, and determined how much and what kinds of foods children were eating at Head Start and at home. The CHILE project team will use these data to determine whether CHILE was effective at increasing children's physical activity, decreasing time spent watching television, increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and decreasing consumption of high-fat foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The CHILE intervention includes six components:

  • Nutrition and physical activity-based curriculum/classroom intervention for Head Start children;
  • Professional development in-service training for Head Start teachers;
  • Regular training and support for Head Start cooks and food service staff;
  • A home and Head Start-based program for families;
  • inclusion of local health care providers as change agents and role models; and community grocery store program to increase the availability and promotion of healthier food options

PDF MATERIALS FOR THE NUTRITIONAL AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CURRICULUM, AND MODULES ONE THRU EIGHT TAKE HOME MATERIALS


CHILE presentations at Head Start Family Nights began in October 2007, and include information about child development, take home activities and games for parents to play with their children, and door prizes. The team has also begun working with Head Start cooks and food service staff, with owners and managers at community grocery stores, and with Head Start teachers and teacher assistants.

CHILE also forged a partnership with the YWCA’s Cariño program, which provides training to early childhood teachers through New Mexico’s Office of Child Development. Through this partnership, teachers who attend CHILE professional development workshops will receive credit toward their individual required hours for maintaining state licensure.

UNM Health Sciences Center March Feature: 
Healthy Choices, Healthy Children

For more information about the CHILE, please contact:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Sally M. Davis, PhD., (505) 272-4462, SDavis@salud.unm.edu 

Watch the HSC video on You Tube

2009-2010: Adolescents Committed to Improvement of Nutrition & Physical Activity (ACTION)

Principal Investigator: Alberta Kong, MD
Start and End Dates: 2009 – 2010

The epidemic of childhood obesity has led to the recognition of metabolic syndrome in adolescents. Metabolic syndrome is a syndrome of insulin resistance, characterized by a constellation of metabolic derangements that include obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and impaired glucose metabolism. Patients with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Early intervention of individuals with metabolic syndrome components is critical to decrease future risk of these chronic diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of clinical encounters with a school-based health center primary care provider using motivational interviewing techniques and a multidisciplinary intervention program to motivate 9th, 10th and 11th grade students in adopting healthier eating and physical activity habits. This study is funded by NIH/NHLBI.

• Submitted Year 1 Progress Report (March 2009) to NIH and received second year funding in the amount of $150,000. 

• Used the Healthy School Report Card, a nation-wide school assessment tool developed by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, for formative data collection to identify potential school-level changes that can be created to support high school students in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

• Convened a community advisory council consisting of APS students and parents to identify stage specific strategies for change in obesity risk behaviors.

• Enrolled eight adolescents and nine parents for semi-structured interviews. Ten adolescents and six parents were enrolled on the community advisory council. Three of the students enrolled in both the interviews and the advisory council and two of the parents enrolled in both the interviews and the advisory council. 

• Completed fifteen semi-structured interviews by December 2008 with adolescents and parents.

• Conducted monthly meetings with community advisory group since December 2008.

• Used basic qualitative methods of analysis to identify themes for intervention materials. 

• Based upon qualitative results from the community advisory council meetings and semi-structured interviews, we have developed a provider toolkit and DVD that will be used with students and parents in the intervention trial.

• Prepared data collection instruments to evaluate adherence, acceptability, ease of delivery, exposure, and fidelity of the multidisciplinary intervention with overweight adolescents, their parents and SBHC providers

• Prepared for efficacy trial which included finalizing the obesity risk reduction tool-kit and DVD, study procedures, protocols, approval for intervention consent forms, training clinical providers in motivational interviewing/ study procedures/ intervention materials, and recruitment of students and parents for intervention trial.

• Submitted an ACTION abstract to AJPH title: “A participatory approach to formative assessment in a school-based health center intervention: Developing a DVD for use with multiethnic adolescents to improve nutrition and physical activity”.

For more information about this project, please contact Alberta Kong, (505) 272-4462 or AKong@salud.unm.edu

2006-2010: Cooking with Kids: Integrating Classroom, Cafeteria, and Family Experiences to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Preference and Intake

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D., RD 
Start and End Dates: April 1, 2006 – March 31, 2010
Source of Funding: United States Department of Agriculture

Does positive, hands-on experience with fresh and affordable foods, including tasting fruits and vegetables and cooking foods from diverse cultural traditions, increase children’s preferences for and consumption of these foods? Will positive experiences with fruits and vegetables in the classroom plus cafeteria promotion improve students’ acceptance of fruits and vegetables? Can family food preparation and eating practices be modified to support more healthful dietary patterns? Do these experiences contribute to more healthful food choices, and thus reduce children’s risk for developing obesity and chronic diseases?

This integrated research, education and extension project will investigate the effects of two levels of intensity and enhancement of an innovative experiential classroom cooking program called Cooking With Kids (CWK;www.cookingwithkids.net), on fruit and vegetable intake and determinants of food choice (fruit and vegetable preference and availability, food neophobia, cooking attitudes and self-efficacy, and family food preparation and eating practices). This project involves partners from school food and nutrition programs, community nutrition research, and Cooperative Extension, in its design, implementation, and evaluation, and works with especially vulnerable groups: economically disadvantaged Hispanic and American Indian children. The design includes a research component to test and refine innovative assessment tools for both children and adults within a larger evaluation framework. This project will support USDA strategic planning goals to improve the nation’s nutrition and health by increasing children’s preferences for and consumption of fruits and vegetables, and enhancing economic opportunities for agricultural producers.

Specific aims of this project are:

1) Phase I: refine and test CWK classroom, cafeteria, and family intervention components, refine previously piloted instruments to assess determinants of food choice through rigorous validity and reliability testing, and refine and test process and other outcome evaluation measures;

2) Phase II: design and carry out an investigation of the effects of two versions of the CWK program: a) the full CWK classroom Cooking and Tasting curriculum + cafeteria meals + family intervention; compared with b) the CWKTasting (only) curriculum + cafeteria meals + family intervention; and to c) control, among a cohort of approximately 675 3 rd grade students and their parents for two years; and

3) Phase III: disseminate CWK intervention and evaluation components through training and technical assistance to other school districts and community nutrition programs using the Cooperative Extension network.

Research Hypothesis: 
Compared to students in the control condition, students in both intervention conditions will:

A. Report greater intake of and preference for fruits and vegetables,
B. Report lower food neophobia scores,
C. Report improved family food preparation and eating practices, and
D. Report greater cooking self-efficacy and cooking attitudes.

It is expected that compared to students receiving the less intensive Tasting classes, students receiving the Cooking and Tasting classroom intervention will report greater changes in the above reported conditions.

For additional information about this project and its activities, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2004-2010: Before and After School Physical Activity and Nutrition Program Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2010
Source of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department (PED)

The Prevention Research Center (PRC)) was asked by the New Mexico Public Education Department to evaluate the Before and After School Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (Before/After School Program). The Before/After School Program completed its fifth year of implementation in approximately 15 schools or school districts in the state, as well as in three other projects. The Before/After School Program’s evaluation team, led by Principal Investigator Linda Peñaloza examined both process and outcome indicators relevant to the implementation of the program, which is an important component of the New Mexico Governor’s anti-obesity initiative. The program was intended to promote positive nutrition habits and increase physical activity among elementary school students in the state. Results of the evaluation were used to make recommendations about improving the various grant programs and future funding decisions.

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza at (505) 272-4462 or at LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu

2004-2010: Family and Youth Resource Act Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2010
Source of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department (PED)

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) was asked by the New Mexico Public Education Department to evaluate the Family and Youth Resource Act (FYRA) Program. In FY10, the FYRA Program completed its seventh year of implementation in approximately 35 school districts in the state. The FYRA evaluation team, led by Principal Investigator Linda Peñaloza examined the process outcomes related to the implementation of FYRA, which is intended to create mutual long-term relationships with public, private and community-based agencies—including faith-based organizations, civic and corporate organizations—to help students attain high academic achievement by meeting certain nonacademic needs of students and their families. Results of the evaluation have been used to make recommendations about improving the program and guide funding decisions.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Linda Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu.

2009: Comprehensive Cancer Program Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda Peñaloza, PhD
Start and End Dates: 2009
Source of Funding: NM Dept of Health and Comprehensive Cancer Program

The Comprehensive Cancer Program Evaluation provides evaluation and analysis services for the Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer program.

  • The Health Evaluation and Research Team (HEART) created, finalized, printed, and delivered for distribution March 2009 both English and Spanish versions of the Sun Safety Brochure. Print-ready electronic files of both the English-language and Spanish-language sun safety parent brochure (PDF and InDesign files) have been provided on CD.
  • HEART conducted data entry and data analysis of the 2007 & 2008 Raising Awareness in Youth about Sun Safety (RAYS) curriculum surveys. The database was developed, and all contractor and educator data were entered by March 2009.
  • HEART reviewed the 2006 RAYS survey analysis and report and developed a single report providing a comparative analysis on the 2006, 2007 and 2008 RAYS survey data. The draft report was submitted June 2009.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Linda Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu.

2004-2009: Teen Health Resiliency Intervention for Violence Exposure (THRIVE)

Principal Investigator: Jessica Goodkind, PhD
Start and End Dates: October 1, 2004 – September 30, 2009
Sources of Funding: CDC - PRC, NCTSN/SAMHSA

THRIVE is a community-based participatory research project that seeks to promote the mental health and well-being of American Indian youth by addressing violence exposure and historical and chronic trauma. This project is based within our school-based health centers, which were founded in 1983 to increase the accessibility of medical services, mental health services, and prevention services to students in three American Indian communities in New Mexico. THRIVE has two main components: 1) adaptation, implementation, and evaluation of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), an evidenced-based group intervention designed to be implemented in school settings; and 2) development, implementation, and evaluation of a community-based intervention for Native youth and their parents/guardians to address chronic and historical trauma through a combination of traditional healing modalities, psychoeducational groups, equine-assisted therapy, and reconnection of youth to traditional culture and language.

Component 1: THRIVE (Teen Health Resiliency Intervention for Violence Exposure) 
The first component of THRIVE has involved the adaptation, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based intervention (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools; CBITS) for American Indian youth who have been exposed to trauma. CBITS is a group intervention that includes education about trauma to de-stigmatize symptoms, relaxation training to combat anxiety, cognitive therapy to address negative beliefs about self and world, real life and imagined exposure to feared situations to reduce anxiety, and social problem-solving to address anger and impulsivity. This intervention demonstrated promising results in a randomized experiment with urban youth in Los Angeles (Stein et al., 2003). However, its effectiveness and cultural appropriateness had not been evaluated for rural Native youth. Through this study, we screened 231 students in three American Indian communities and 34 students participated in the group intervention. Preliminary results suggest that participants in the intervention experienced significant decreases in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms and general anxiety symptoms. Adaptations to the intervention have been documented.

Expanding the Definition of Trauma 
For years the focus of trauma therapy has been on acute traumas and on individual treatments. However, there are many other types of traumas and treatment approaches. In recent years researchers have focused on how to address different types of trauma, such as chronic trauma, or repeated exposure to stressful or threatening life events. Living in a violent neighborhood is considered chronic trauma because it is something that you fear almost every day. Researchers have also begun studying historical trauma, which involves the effects of historically traumatic events on groups of people that have been oppressed or traumatized. Research has shown that people can be affected by a trauma from the past that they did not experience firsthand, but re-lived through stories from family members. This phenomenon is called intergenerational transmission of trauma.

Historical Trauma and American Indians
For American Indians, historical trauma originates from 500 years of genocide (wars and disease), oppression (taking of land and property, discrimination), cultural destruction (outlawing of traditional practices and languages), forced removal of children to boarding schools, and relocation of families to urban areas from reservations. Given these realities, it is not surprising that American Indians have significantly higher rates of trauma exposure than the overall U.S. population (Manson et al., 2005). A great deal of the research on historical trauma for American Indians was done by Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart (Brave Heart, 1998; Brave Heart, 1999a; Brave Heart, 1999b; Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998;).

Addressing Historical Trauma 
From this research, treatment approaches have been adapted from the individual focus to a community focus on healing. Although different groups chose to tailor their community healing interventions depending on their cultural beliefs/traditions and their specific needs for healing, treatments for historical traumas often include the following core elements:

  • telling of their story and understanding the history
  • processing emotional reactions and experiences
  • ceremonies in remembrance of those that suffered
  • healing ceremonies for survivors

Component 2: Community-Based Intervention to Promote Well-Being through Nihii’iina
The Nihii’iina (Our Life) Project is a collaboration between the Prevention Research Center (PRC) and Teen Centers and an American Indian community in New Mexico. Community partners include the Community Action Team, Tribal Behavioral Health Services, and other community members. This study developed as a result of community feedback on the CBITS component of THRIVE. Community members and PRC staff recognized that we needed to identify the root causes of the high rates of violence and trauma and to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of trauma. In addition, we agreed that we needed to develop a project that was community-based, that addressed multiple layers of trauma, that included youth and their parents, and that was developed with the community, rather than adapting an outside model. The Nihii’iina Community Advisory Council was formed in February 2005, and continues to meet biweekly to engage in a process of community-based participatory research in order to address historical trauma at the community level by engaging youth and parents in a 6 month intervention program. The intervention focuses on:

  1. Recognition of historical trauma and traditional cultural practices for healing
  2. Reconnection to traditional culture and language through learning from elders
  3. Discussion of culturally appropriate parenting practices
  4. Further healing and building relationships between parents and youth through equine-assisted activities

The goals of the research project are to promote individual and community mental health and well-being and to reduce trauma and violence exposure through the development, implementation, and evaluation of a community intervention. We also hope that through this process, we begin to build an evidence base for mental health interventions developed by American Indian communities and their partners. We intend to develop a model and process that can be shared with other American Indian communities that are facing similar issues of historical trauma, violence, and challenges for youth and parents. The intervention was piloted first in June – December 2006. A second pilot implementation will begin in June 2007.

For more information about the THRIVE Project, please contact at (505) 272-4462, or Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica Goodkind, Ph.D., JGoodkind@salud.unm.edu.
Co-Investigators: Lance Freeland, BS and Richard Hough, PhD.

2005-2007: Elementary Physical Education Teachers Program Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: August 2005 - June 2007
Sources of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department, School and Family Support Bureau

The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) received funding from a state appropriation to fund a project designed to enhance physical activity and physical education in elementary schools around the state. The funding has been used to hire new physical education teachers in more than 30 elementary schools, and to provide training for these programs. The PED has contracted with the Prevention Research Center to conduct an evaluation to demonstrate effectiveness of this program in participating schools.

The Prevention Research Center has designed an evaluation to be conducted during the school year.

The evaluation consists of surveys administered to the students in a sample of 5th grade classes, their parents, their classroom teachers, and their school principals. The surveys include questions concerning attitudes towards physical activity, active play, and general school climate.

For additional information about this project, please contact Linda Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu.

Final Evaluation Report: 
Elementary Physical Education in NM, 2006-07 (pdf 220k)

2005-2006: Healthy Body Awareness

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: April 1, 2005 – June 30, 2006
Sources of Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program 
through a sub-award with New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service

Background

  • Healthy Body Awareness (HBA) is a nutrition and physical activity education program for Navajo elders. 
    It can be adapted for other communities.
  • Developed by the Prevention Research Center in partnership with the Navajo community, including Navajo Area Agency on Aging (NAAA), Indian Health Service, Navajo Nation’s Special Diabetes Project, and 
    Navajo Council on Aging.
  • Goal: to design a culturally relevant and sustainable physical activity and nutrition education
    program for Navajo elders.
  • Funded by USDA FSNEP through New Mexico State University (NMSU), with additional funding 
    provided through Arizona Nutrition Network.
  • Staff from all five NAAA regions were trained on HBA curriculum in May 2005.

Program

  • Delivered to elders receiving meals through Congregate Meal Program at Senior Centers by Senior Center
    staff, with plans to reach homebound elders.
  • 12 weeks, 3 lessons per week - 2 nutrition lessons and 1 physical activity lesson.
  • Based on 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Surgeon General’s recommendations for 
    physical activity, with culturally responsive and age-appropriate content.
  • Lessons consist of mini-talks, learning activities, physical activities, videos produced by NMSU 
    Cooperative Extension Service, food tastings, handouts.
  • Exercise cards depicting safe exercises for elders were developed especially for this project and 
    can be downloaded.
  • Topics chosen based on USDA FSNEP guidelines, planning partner experiences, 
    and NAAA Senior Centers’ needs.

Evaluation

  • May 2005 trainings – evaluation results from 214 participants from 5 agencies:
    93% ready to teach lessons, 94% thought physical activity was simple enough for elders,
    76% thought nutrition. education easy enough for elders to understand, 96% thought 
    topics of interest to elders, 53% want follow-up training.
  • Evaluation is built into the curriculum, with measures assessing participants’ nutrition and physical activity knowledge before and after the program, and after each lesson, with a post-lesson session leader reaction form.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2002-2005: Healthy Path: A Nutrition and Physical Activity Program for Navajo Elders

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Co-Investigators: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.; Nancy E. Hood, M.P.H.; Shirley Pareo, M.S.
Start and End Dates: May 1, 2002 – September 30, 2005
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be affected by environmental conditions, individual circumstances and policies, especially for elderly members of our society. The financial and emotional toll from poor health is enormous, for society, for families, and especially for elders themselves. The primary purpose of this community-based participatory research project is to work in partnership with Navajo community organizations to improve the health of elderly individuals in the eastern area of the Navajo Nation. As the Core Research and Demonstration Project of the Prevention Research Center, this project is being conducted collaboratively with the Navajo Area Agency on Aging (NAAA), the Indian Health Service (IHS) Navajo Area Crownpoint Service Unit, tribal health educators, and other interested community groups and individuals. The focus is to work together and share resources to promote physical activity and nutrition education and activities for Navajo elders, age 60 years and older.

The Navajo title of the project reflects the focus, translated as follows: Ats’íís means the physical body; Yá’át’éehgo, when it is in good condition, homeostasis; and Áhool’á, as extending there, proceeding into the future.

The basis for planning this feasibility project was a previous pilot study in which senior center staff and community health personnel worked closely with the Prevention Research Center's researchers to identify the physical activity and nutrition strengths and needs of Navajo elders. They sought to identify factors at the individual, environmental and policy levels that influenced choices that were made by Navajo elders that had an impact on their health. The pilot study provided information needed for program development, and for partners to assist in designing the current feasibility project. The resulting project consists of a culturally-relevant set of training and education modules for Navajo elders at the senior centers to enable them to make healthful choices about physical activity and nutrition. As a community-based collaborative effort, the project involves participation of senior center staff and Navajo elders in nutrition and physical activity training sessions, and the enhanced nutritional quality of senior center meals.

During the first phase, monthly meetings are held by the Prevention Research Center's researchers and community partners, to plan trainings for senior center staff, volunteer elders and other project participants. At these meetings, community partners provided input about training topics, who should participate (senior center staff, elders from each center) and what materials are needed for activities planned after the trainings are completed. Community planning group participants include individuals from the central NAAA office, the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project, IHS Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and senior center staff and Navajo elders from the Eastern Navajo area. To expand the impact and level of input, the participating senior centers made presentations to their chapters and councils on aging to obtain resolutions and support for Healthy Path.

Through this planning process the modules and materials used in the pilot project were revised and enhanced, and two physical activity and two nutrition education modules were developed. For the physical activity module, eight elders volunteered as “models” for the physical activity cards that are part of the training activities. Activities are described on one side of the card and illustrated on the other side with elders demonstrating each activity. To encourage interest in nutrition education, both for younger and elder Navajo community members, the planning group sponsored a cooking demonstration of traditional foods during Spring 2003. Three elders led the demonstration preparing blue corn mush, bread, and pancakes and 'puberty' (Kineldaa) cake, explaining what they were doing as they proceeded, and answering numerous questions from observers. Photos were taken of the finished products to be used for food model cards with nutritional information about these foods, that would be included with food models of non-traditional foods for the nutrition education module.

During Summer 2003, senior center staff from nine centers, and other community health workers were trained by the Prevention Research Center's personnel and community partners. During the two months following the training sessions, these trained staff delivered the four educational modules in their senior centers to elders. Technical assistance was provided by the Prevention Research Center's personnel to address program fidelity and integrity. In addition, about 135 elder participants and those presenting the health promotion information were given opportunities to provide their assessments of sessions so that future sessions could be improved. Through interviews, the degree of "adoption" of training modules by trainees were also assessed, to determine their acceptance and sustainability potential.

The second phase, which began the end of September 2003, was to plan which components of the first phase to continue and what new components to add, whether to add new nutrition and physical activity modules or activities, or whether additional partners or centers could be added.

A very exciting 'next step' for collaborating partners was the development of a proposal for a full-scale study based on this feasibility project. This five-year, full-scale study served as the core research project for the Prevention Research Center's renewal proposal as a Prevention Research Project. This study could expand its reach to the entire Navajo Nation as well as other American Indian communities in the Southwest.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2002-2005: Development of a Nutrition Education Tool for Navajo Families

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, PhD
Coordinator: Shirley Pareo, M.S.
Start and End Dates: September 1, 2002 – August 31, 2005
Sources of Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture, subaward with Diné College

Development of a Nutrition Education Tool for Navajo Families was a project designed to identify culturally relevant nutrition education resources and strategies for Navajo parents and educators of young children, and from these design a tool or program. The proposal was developed in response to requests from staff and parents of Head Start students in the North-Central area of the Navajo Nation to assist parents in making wise food choices for their families. A previous study collected dietary intake and behavior information for 70 pairs of parents and children participating in the Navajo Head Start program (unpublished report). Twenty-four hour dietary recall results indicated that a majority of the children consumed more than recommended calorie levels, and height and weight data indicated that 17% of children were above the 95 th percentile for Body Mass Index for their age and gender. Despite most parents participating in either or both the Head Start and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program – both of which have a strong nutrition education component – only half of parent respondents reported receiving nutrition education information with just under half reported using this information they were provided. Encouragingly, nearly 80% (56 of 70 interviewees) reported they were indeed interested in learning more about nutrition.

Once this follow-up project was initiated, an advisory committee was convened to guide the creation of focus group interviews and use resultant information to develop a nutrition education tool for Navajo parents and early childhood educators. Committee members represented local tribal and Indian Health Service health and education programs targeting preschool children and their families, as well as university faculty and staff from the tribal college, a large public university, and the state’s land grant institution. Focus group interviews with parents and early childhood education paraprofessionals were planned and conducted to identify and determine contributors to both healthful and unhealthful food ways for Navajo preschoolers. Preliminary results from these focus group interviews were then presented to the project advisory committee and to attendees of a local research conference for their reactions and responses. The results of this project are included in a manuscript currently under review by the Journal of Maternal and Child Health.

For more information about this program, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2002-2005: Circle of Life: Native American HIV Prevention Curriculum

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Coordinator: Theresa Clay, M.S.
Start and End Dates: December 9, 2002 – June 30, 2005
Sources of Funding: New Mexico Department of Education School Health Unit

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) in partnership with the State Department of Education (SDE) School Health Unit is implementing a culturally appropriate school-based health intervention program on HIV/AIDS and STD’s. This project is conducted through the schools in American Indian communities, specifically at 19 Pueblos in New Mexico. The program consists of three steps: first, a train-the-trainer series; second, these individuals will conduct sessions to prepare the teachers to use the Circle of Life prevention curriculum; and third, they in turn will then utilize these training materials and knowledge in their school classrooms.

Four Prevention Research Center staff and one consultant were selected and trained as the cadre of trainers by the developer of the Circle of Life curriculum. Training sessions were held for this group in mid-February to prepare them in the Circle of Life Middle School curriculum by national trainer, Edwin Schupman, from Seattle, Washington. The project staff then began contacting middle schools that serve the 19 Pueblos to schedule training sessions for teachers. The teachers who attend these training sessions will then teach the prevention curriculum to their middle school students.

The commitment and hard work of the Circle of Life team and the teachers who are being trained are key factors in promoting the success of the program. An evaluation of the project is being conducted during both the preparation and implementation phases, and these results will be available at the end of the project.

For further information about this project, please contact Dr. Sally Davis, PhD at (505) 272-4462 or SDavis@salud.unm.edu.

2000-2005: Examining the Contributions of Prevention Research Centers toward Improving Public Health Practice and Policy-SIP 17-00

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, PhD
Senior Co-Investigator: Everett Rogers, PhD
Co-Investigator and Project Director: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 30, 2000 – June 30, 2005
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- DHHS

Does research have a practical impact? Does public health research improve the public’s health? If so, what are the factors and best strategies or models to bring this about? These are the questions raised in this collaborative research project. Using a multiple case study research design, this project began by studying how the results of research are disseminated and utilized in public health contexts in communities, specifically in seven New Mexico communities. The purpose was to discover the conditions that enhance or impede the ability of research to transform public health policy and practice in communities. The ultimate goal is to use the results to formulate strategies to facilitate the use of research results, and to create models and research methods for the future study of research utilization in public health.

Project investigators received supplementary funding to conduct an intensive literature review with the University of North Carolina Prevention Research Center. The project was also expanded to include case studies of community research projects from two other PRCs, the University of Washington and St. Louis University.

An additional expansion of the project was initiated to determine lessons learned about research utilization from academic and community members of the entire Prevention Research Center's Network, consisting of 33 PRCs nationwide. Because PRCs vary in the degree and type of research utilization activities in which they are involved, useful lessons can be learned from their varied experiences. Interviews were conducted with eight PRC directors and their community partners about their experiences with dissemination and utilization of research, barriers they have encountered, and how these barriers are being addressed.

Results from this project are included in a supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine currently in press. Dr. Sally Davis is the Guest Editor as well as among the researchers who contributed articles.

For more information about this project, please the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2001-2004: Examining the Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Histories of New Mexico Women Diagnosed with Invasive and In-situ Cervical Cancer - SIP 11-01

Principal Investigators: Jan Gaylord, Ph.D., M.S.W. and Carla Herman, M.D., M.P.H.; UNM HSC Cancer Research Treatment Center
Start and End Dates: September 2001 – September 2004
Source of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This three-year study is being conducted in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Health (NM DOH) Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCP). The project is sponsored through the Prevention Research Center (PRC), and the investigators are affiliated with another UNM Health Sciences Center division. The purpose of this study is to examine the screening, diagnostic and treatment histories of New Mexico women diagnosed with pre-invasive and invasive cervical cancer, to examine possible sociocultural risk and protective factors, and to identify screening and treatment system weaknesses in New Mexico.

The focus of this project was established after a previously-funded program was reviewed in early 2002. A revised research plan and budget which better served the needs of BCCP were approved in April 2002. The original focus was to identify multilevel factors--environmental, socio-cultural and provider system--that contributed to poor follow-up of abnormal (Pap) tests. Women diagnosed with invasive and in situ cervical cancer in New Mexico between 1999 and 2002 were asked to participate in a telephone survey to determine what factors affected the timely diagnosis and/or treatment of their cancer. These findings will be valuable to the BCCP and state providers because it will identify weaknesses in cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment systems, and an understanding of why NM women develop cervical cancer.

After obtaining human subjects review committee approval for the project, the telephone survey instrument developed specifically for this project was pilot tested in February of 2003. Study information and invitations were mailed to all eligible women with current contact information. Data collection was completed between March and November of 2003. During the final year, the investigators will conduct data analysis, interpretation and reporting, which will include preparing written reports for the CDC and articles to submit for peer-reviewed journal publication. They also will present the findings of this study at the Chronic Disease Prevention Council meeting.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

1999-2004: Effective Coordinated School Health Programs - SIP 14-99

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, PhD
Coordinator: Christine Hollis, MS
Start and End Dates: September 30, 1999 – September 29, 2004
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent and School Health

Scientific studies and common sense agree that healthy children attain higher levels of academic achievement. This project was designed to promote this process through the schools, with a broad set of activities and interdisciplinary pre-service courses for educators and health professionals. The focus of these is to prepare these students to work collaboratively across disciplines to manage school health issues, and thus to improve school health and academic performance.

Nearly 750 educators and health professionals across the state who attended the 2002 annual conference, Head to Toe, discussed this topic. A document with a New Mexico focus was published and distributed to all school districts; it advocated school health practices and stressed positive relationships between school health and academic outcomes. Focus groups were held with veteran teachers to learn how coordinated school health could be integrated into the teacher training curriculum. Rural health and nursing students attended an interdisciplinary pre-service training course that utilized school health case studies. Teacher education and educational administrator students attended presentations emphasizing school health. And, to emphasize the importance of this effort even further, graduate-level veteran teachers received adolescent growth and development training.

In order to assess all of these activities, a round table--Coordinated School Health and Pre-Service Training for Education and Health Professionals--was held for higher education faculty and deans, state officials and school system representatives to share ‘lessons learned’ in integrating school health into pre-service programs. To highlight and distribute the insights of the round table, a document on the state of the art in New Mexico, entitled Navigation Guide for Teachers: Resources for School Health, was produced by Center staff and will be distributed to school districts.

Presentations have been made, including at the 17th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, about this approach to providing resources to teachers so they can more effectively manage school health issues and enhance their school’s learning environment.

To further this work, Center staff will continue to support College of Education faculty in developing school health modules for first-year elementary and secondary teachers and administrators. This innovative multi-disciplinary project has been well received by all constituencies who are exposed to this approach: university education students, faculty and administrators; and school staff, teachers, principals and superintendents.

For more information about this program, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2003: Evaluation of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program (Zuni)

Principal Investigator: John Booker, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator: Shirley Pareo, M.S.
Start and End Dates: January 15, 2003 – April 15, 2003
Sources of Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Zuni Public Schools Food Service Coordinator and a nutrition advisory committee obtained funding for the Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program (FVPP) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They were motivated by the recognition that obesity has become a serious problem nationwide, but especially among American Indian children, and that dietary habits have a short-term impact on school academic performance and long-term impact on the health of these children as they become adults. Their expectation (and hope) was that the children who participated would change their snacking habits by experiencing the benefits of having more fruits and vegetables in their diets.

The USDA Economic Research Service contracted with the Prevention Research Center to evaluate the FVPP in Zuni. The evaluation of the Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program (FVPP) in Zuni began mid-January 2003 with meetings at each school with the food service director, the school board, the school administrative committee, and the principals. Data Collection for the evaluation of the Zuni FVPP took place between January 28 and February 21, 2003. Data from the parent and student mini-groups, food service director interviews, and classroom observations were collected by Zuni residents and Center staff. The evaluation specifically covered the means of implementation, feasibility, acceptability, effects, perceived value, and limitations of the project in the community, as well as factors that contributed to its success.

Despite some limitations, the project proved to confirm the expectations of the Zuni school officials that students learned to appreciate the fruits and vegetables and enjoyed the fruits and vegetables they were served. It was also reported that students brought fewer non-nutritive snacks to school.

For more information about this project, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2001-2003: Alcohol, HIV Risks and Mexican College Students (MASCR)

Principal Investigator: Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: January 1, 2001 – June 30, 2003
Sources of Funding: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This project was designed as a two-year qualitative exploratory study that was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Although there is research on the links between alcohol use and sexual risk taking among college students as a whole, there is very little information specifically related to Mexican American college students’ behavior. The overall goal of this research project was to explore the social context of drinking and HIV risk behaviors among Mexican American college students.

Specific aims of the project were to:

* identify and explore the role of drinking in sexual risk taking; 
* document and examine cultural norms governing drinking and sexual behavior; 
* understand the social context of drinking and sexual risk taking; and 
* produce an ethnographic description of alcohol use and HIV risk behaviors among Mexican American college students in New Mexico.

The accomplishments of the project include:

* 59 participants were enrolled in the study;
* preliminary and follow-up interviews were conducted and diaries reviewed; and
* data management processes were implemented, which included transcription, coding, and  preliminary analyses of qualitative data.

For additional information, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2000-2003: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Adults with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia - SIP 4-00

Principal Investigator: Carla Herman, M.D., M.P.H.
Co-Investigator: Arti Prasad, M.D.
Coordinator: Peg Allen, M.S., M.P.H.
Start and End Dates: October 2000 - September 2003 
Source of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This project, funded for two years plus a one year no-cost extension, was designed to assess the use of complementary and alternative medicine among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White adults in the Albuquerque area who have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia. The project is sponsored through the UNM Prevention Research Center (PRC ), and the investigators are affiliated with the Department of Internal Medicine.

The University of North Carolina Thurston Arthritis Research Center conducted a similar study with multicultural adults in North Carolina. To share information about project details, the UNM Project co-sponsored a meeting in August 2001, with University of North Carolina researchers and CDC project officers.

Four focus groups were held during Spring 2001 to assist with the survey development. A literature review was then conducted, and the survey was developed and tested with a series of pilot interviews in August 2001. Using the pilot test results, a fully-developed survey was prepared, and 884 adults in the Albuquerque area were interviewed in person during September 2001 through August 2002. In addition, a literature review was completed of CAM use among adults with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and ethnic/cultural variations in use and beliefs. A one-year no cost extension enabled the investigators to complete the data analysis and preparation of articles for publication, to disseminate the results of the project through presentations at national conferences and meetings in 2002-2003. Data analysis continued throughout the last year and a summary report for the participants was completed in September 2003. A written summary to the CDC and other organizations was completed in November 2003. Three manuscripts were prepared during the last year.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

1995-2003: Ethnic Variation in Women's Attitudes, Knowledge and Experience of Hysterectomy and Menopause (ENDOW)-SIP 25W

Principal Investigator: Carla J. Herman, M.D., M.P.H.
Project Manager: Ina Bawaya, M.F.A.
Data Manager: Kathy Altobelli, M.S.
Start and End Dates: September 1995 – September 2003
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and National Institutes of Health Office of Women’s Health

This 5-year project (with 3 year no-cost extension to facilitate dissemination) was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, Office of Women's Health. It included four centers, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Houston, and the University of New Mexico. It was designed to study ethnic variation in women's attitudes, experiences and decisions regarding hysterectomy/surgical menopause and questions about menopause and the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that exist in and across racial/cultural groups. The aims were, in Phase 1 to examine with qualitative and quantitative data the factors that influence women’s choices with special emphasis on exploring the potential roles of cultural identity and ethnicity, in Phase 2 to use the information from Phase 1 to develop materials and dissemination strategies to enhance women’s decision-making about hysterectomy, oophorectomy and HRT, and in Phase 3, to evaluate the intervention materials and dissemination strategies in communities. The multicenter study assessed the attitudes of more than 4,000 women from 4 ethnic groups: African-American, Hispanic, Navajo, and non-Hispanic White.

The New Mexico ENDOW Center examined the issues regarding hysterectomy, menopause and hormone replacement among Navajo, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white women. During the first nine months of the study, over 25 focus group interviews were conducted and the results were combined with previously validated survey instruments and demographic information in developing and pilot testing a survey questionnaire. Then, over a 16-month period, the questionnaire was used in a cross-sectional survey, by personal interview, that was conducted among 1100 pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women in the three ethnic groups. Analysis of the focus group and survey data informed the development of culturally-appropriate health education materials in print and video formats for women and their health care providers.

In addition, to assure that the health education intervention materials were disseminated through a more convenient site to Navajo women, a mid-life women’s resource center, the Women/Change Exchange, was opened in Gallup, New Mexico. This office is a place for women, as they age, to learn about their health prior to making important healthcare decisions. The center trained volunteers to educate women about wellness and also provided a place where women can meet and share information through support groups and workshops.

The findings from this study at the four centers indicated that all groups wanted to be more educated on menopausal issues and expressed interest in discussing these issues with their families and health care providers. Based on their findings from extensive focus groups and surveys, ENDOW investigators developed “Hysterectomy: The Decision is Yours,” a video and a brochure (available in English and Spanish) that provides information on the medical procedure, indicates proper communication techniques with health care providers, and offers effective decision-making skills. The video was the recipient of the prestigious Telly Award in 1999 and the Cindy Award. Additional intervention materials include The Wise Woman's Guide to Making Decisions and The Decision is Yours: Talking to Your Doctor. Materials may be obtained from ENDOW at the cost of reproduction (see http://www.dopm.uab.edu/endow/).

For more information about this project, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2005-2007: New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Plan Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D., RD 
Start and End Dates: April 28, 2005 – June 30, 2007
Source of Funding: New Mexico Department of Health

In April 2005, the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) Comprehensive Cancer Program (CCP) established a contract with the Prevention Research Center (PRC) to revise the 2002-2006 New Mexico Cancer Plan. Components of the initial and subsequent contracts have included: an evaluation of the awareness and use of the existing cancer plan, creation of evaluation frameworks for CCP internal projects, member evaluation of the New Mexico Cancer Council; and facilitative support and technical assistance to conduct and evaluate a state-wide process to review and revise the existing New Mexico Cancer Plan (NMCP).

To date the PRC team has reviewed other states’ comprehensive cancer plans, developed a plan revision process, conducted focus group discussions throughout the state to gather input for the revised cancer plan, developed an evaluation framework for the revision process, developed and disseminated a council satisfaction survey, and drafted the goals, objectives, and activities to be included in the revised state cancer plan.

The contract with the Comprehensive Cancer Program at DOH continues to evolve. The FY2007 activities mainly involve finalizing and disseminating the state plan, and continued expansion of evaluation activities for the New Mexico Cancer Council, the DOH Comprehensive Cancer Program internal programs, and progress monitoring as outlined in the new state plan.

For additional information about this project and its activities, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

Project Personnel:

  • Christina Paez, MPH, Associate Scientist
  • Corinne Shefner-Rogers, PhD, Adjunct Faculty, Masters in Public Health Program
  • Victoria Sanchez, PhD, Project Consultant
  • Pamela Sedillo, Program Coordinator

2000-2003: Obesity Prevention Network - SIP 7-00

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Co-Investigators: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.; Shirley Pareo, M.S.
Project Director: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 30, 2000 – September 29, 2003 
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) has served as both the coordinating center and a member of the Obesity Prevention Network (OPN). The OPN is comprised of 7 funded and 3 volunteer PRCs, 12 state health departments, and the Centers for Disease Control. The goal of the OPN was to strengthen public health prevention and control efforts for obesity and other chronic diseases, through identifying innovative program approaches. The PRC served for three years as the coordinating center and supported the activities of two workgroups that 1) conducted a literature review of the determinants of energy imbalance and 2) identified innovations in obesity surveillance.

In its role as the coordinating center, the PRC provided guidance and promoted the collaborative development of the Network’s vision, agenda, objectives, and procedures. Other activities included coordinating all Network member contributions; facilitate information sharing and Network communications, acting on behalf of the OPN in collaborating and communicating with key CDC staff; and be accountable for Network accomplishments. As a Network member, faculty and staff of the UNM PRC serve as scientific contributors to both Network workgroups and support the Network in other ways, including sharing relevant obesity prevention items via the listserv. The PRC has been responsible for managing the OPN listserv, and has encouraged expanded use of this communication channel among Network partners.

The OPN partners included the PRCs at Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley, the University of North Carolina, the University of Oklahoma, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Washington; as volunteers, the PRCs at St. Louis University, the University of Colorado and Yale University; and the state departments of health of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

Among the OPN accomplishments were to arrange monthly PRC Network conference calls; facilitate two face-to-face meetings (November 2000, February 2002); assist with preparing two supplemental funding requests which were awarded, support workgroup activities; present OPN activities at the 16th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in February 2002; and collaboratively develop a guidance document about the dietary determinants of energy imbalance for the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity of the CDC.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2003-2007: Obesity, Physical Activity and Nutrition (OPAN)

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: November 1, 2003 – June 30, 2007
Source of Funding: New Mexico Department of Health

In 2003 the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) Chronic Disease Bureau received funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish an obesity prevention program, and develop a comprehensive strategic plan to reverse the increasing trend of obesity in the state. A portion of this funding was used to contract with the Prevention Research Center (PRC) to help develop the state plan and evaluate the planning process. Since 2002, in partnership with DOH’s Physical Activity & Nutrition for Healthier Weight Program, the PRC has conducted a statewide needs assessment of obesity prevention programs, convened and facilitated steering committee strategic planning meetings, held a statewide obesity forum, served on the interim and current Healthier Weight executive committee, drafted a plan progress monitoring tool and resource directory, provided evaluation technical assistance, and contributed to the writing and final editing of the inaugural edition of New Mexico’s Plan to Promote Healthier Weight.

In fiscal year 2007 the PRC will continue to work with the Physical Activity & Nutrition for Healthier Weight Program, however our responsibilities have evolved based on the development of the state plan. Activities will focus on evaluation and the refinement of the Healthier Weight Resource Directory that was developed last fiscal year. This year’s scope of work includes: evaluation of a pilot physical activity and nutrition intervention, progress monitoring as outlined in the state plan and participation in the Healthier Weight Council and its executive committee.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, (505) 272-4462 or ldcunningham-sabo@salud.unm.edu.

Project Personnel:

Christina Paez, MPH - Associate Scientist
Cpaez@salud.unm.edu

Pamela Sedillo - Program Coordinator
Psedillo@salud.unm.edu 

Victoria Sanchez, PhD - Project Consultant
Vsanchez46@aol.com

2002-2005: Participatory Action for Healthy Lifestyles (PAHL)

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Co-Investigators: Everett M. Rogers, Ph.D.; Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.; Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D. 
Evaluation Coordinator: Nancy Hood, M.P.H.
Start and End Dates: September 30, 2002 –  September 29, 2005 
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control, the Prevention Research Center (PRC) is developing, implementing, and evaluating an integrated multi-level model project entitled Participatory Action for Healthy Lifestyles (PAHL). This study is investigating the dissemination, diffusion, and utilization of a school-based nutrition and physical activity intervention program, Pathways. This program is a recently completed multi-site randomized control field trial that was implemented to address the alarming increase in obesity and related diseases, and health disparities, among American Indians. A participatory approach was used to develop this culturally-appropriate and theory-based intervention for third, fourth, and fifth grade students and their families. PAHL provides a unique opportunity to learn more about what is necessary in the successful dissemination of a project.

PAHL involves establishing three training and technical assistance field centers, one each at the local tribal level, the state level, and the regional level. Strategic Participatory Planning Teams are being established and maintained at each level, and will participate in all aspects of the participatory dissemination process. This includes offering train-the-trainer sessions for Community Action Teams to implement the Pathways program. Community Action Teams will then develop participatory action plans to disseminate Pathways in their communities. They will also participate in developing a plan to evaluate the overall project.

As a multi-disciplinary, multi-ethnic research project that includes model participatory partnerships with communities for dissemination and utilization, this project will provide a useful tool for other researchers and communities that are attempting to bridge the gap between science and practice.

For further information about this project, please contact Dr. Sally M. Davis at (505) 272-4462. 

1993-2003: Pathways: Prevention of Obesity Among American Indian Schoolchildren

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 30, 1993 – July 31, 2003 
Sources of Funding: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health

Pathways was an eight-year obesity prevention program for American Indian schoolchildren in grades 3–5. The project involved 1,704 students in 41 schools in Arizona, South Dakota, Utah and New Mexico. With funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the project was developed and conducted through a partnership that included seven American Indian tribes—the Navajo Nation, the Gila River Indian Community, the Tohono O'odham Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Oglala Lakota Nation, and the Sicangu Lakota Nation--and five Universities—Johns Hopkins University, the University of Arizona, the University of Minnesota, the University of New Mexico and the University of North Carolina.

This effort was initiated in response to recognition of the alarming rates among American Indians of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and related chronic diseases and other health concerns. The overall focus of the program and supporting materials was designed to prevent childhood obesity by promoting increased physical activity and healthful eating behaviors. The feasibility pilot study of Pathways was conducted from 1993–1996 and the full-scale study was implemented during 1996–2001.

The Pathways obesity prevention project was developed with four components that should be implemented at the same time: a classroom curriculum, a family component, a food service component, and a physical activity component. The materials developed for each component are available for use by interested teachers, school personnel, and health promotion practitioners, by contacting the coordinator of the project, identified below, or by viewing the Pathways website.

After the project was completed, several activities were initiated to disseminate the program and the results. The Pathways Steering Committee selected the Prevention Research Center as the repository for Pathways materials and as the dissemination site. A database for all Pathways intervention materials was developed to monitor dissemination efforts and results. Specific Pathways intervention materials were provided to the Native American Outreach and Education Program of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. All Pathways intervention materials were posted on the Prevention Research Center's website for wider dissemination, with 'hits' recorded to indicate the number of times these websites are accessed. Training sessions are being conducted up to the present as requests are received from the original participating schools, to educate school staff and students about obesity prevention strategies.

Furthermore, the Pathways curriculum has been promoted at conferences and networking sessions. Several presentations have been made at conferences and formal meetings about Pathways, to share the results and lessons learned, including at the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. To further disseminate the program outline and results, manuscripts were prepared, and participating American Indian tribes have been reviewing these, for publication in a Preventive Medicine Supplement. Dr. Sally Davis will serve as the Guest Scientific Editor.

In October 2002, the Prevention Research Center was awarded a CDC grant for a three-year project entitled Participatory Action for Healthy Lifestyles (PAHL). This project involves investigating the dissemination, diffusion and utilization of the Pathways project and curriculum.

For additional information about this program, please contact Dr. Sally M. Davis, at (505) 272-4462 or SDavis@salud.unm.edu

2010-2012: Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement

Principal Investigator: Dr. Theresa H Cruz, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: August 2010 – December 2012
Sources of Funding: NM Department of Transportation

The UNM PRC provides technical assistance and evaluation expertise to the Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement project of the NM Department of Transportation (DOT). The project is designed to reduce pedestrian injury and death in the five NM counties with the highest pedestrian injury rates: Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley, San Juan, and Santa Fe. The project includes pedestrian injury prevention education, a media campaign, and targeted enforcement of pedestrian safety laws. We will evaluate the success of these efforts by collecting and analyzing data on pedestrian and driver behaviors before and after the targeted campaigns in each of the five communities.

For additional information about Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement please contact Dr. Theresa H Cruz at (505) 272-8379 or ThCruz@salud.unm.edu.

2000-2003: Prevention Centers Tobacco Network - SIP 15-99

Principal Investigator: Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 30, 2000 – September 29, 2003
Sources of Funding: Centers for Disease Control - DHHS

This four year project was launched to establish a workgroup of faculty and staff with diverse kinds of expertise in tobacco control and cessation. The purpose of establishing this group was to enhance collaboration with state agency and coalition partners, and to share with other Prevention Research Centers the strategies and lessons learned about effectively controlling tobacco use. In November 2001, the Tobacco Research, Prevention and Cessation Projects Directory was published and distributed. It identified programs throughout New Mexico that are devoted to tobacco cessation, and was welcomed by recipients statewide. In addition, the UNM Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Projects Directory, a guide about funded tobacco cessation and research projects and involved personnel at the University of New Mexico, was posted on the Prevention Research Center's website.

Currently, during the no-cost extension period, the tobacco control workgroup efforts are to:

  • Expand communications and share information about effective intervention strategies with participating Prevention Research Centers and the UNM Tobacco Work Group,
  • Maintain collaborative relationships with key tobacco control coalitions and staff at various state agencies, and
  • Educate more University of New Mexico students about tobacco research results and tobacco control programs.

For additional information about this program or opportunities to contribute to this effort, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2004-2007: Prescription Drug Abuse among College Students

Principal Investigator: Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2007
Source of Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) recently received a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to move forward on an important component of the overall PRC research agenda. This new grant, “The Social Context of Collegiate Prescription Drug Abuse,” will expand Center capacities in tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse prevention.

Inappropriate use of certain prescription drugs is increasingly becoming a public health concern. Traditionally college students have been at the forefront of trends in drug use, however, public health researchers currently have very little
reliable data on the non-medical use of specific prescription drugs among this population. Accurate surveillance and epidemiological data are limited by lack of a detailed understanding of the situations in which college students misuse prescription drugs. There is also little known regarding the language college students use to describe drugs and drug 
use behavior.

Led by the Associate Director, Dr. Gilbert Quintero, a research team will conduct a three-year study of collegiate prescription drug abuse in two phases. First, researchers will interview 120 college students who have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons within the last year. This phase of the study has three goals: (1) to explore the social and cultural factors related to prescription drug use, (2) to investigate attitudes, behaviors, and terms used by college students who use prescription drugs, and (3) to explore the risks and negative outcomes that college students associate with prescription drug use.

In phase two, findings from this in-depth exploration will then be used to develop a more accurate survey on collegiate prescription drug abuse than currently exists. This survey will then be given to a sample of 300 college students between
the ages of 18 and 25 to gather further information about drug use patterns and associated health risks.

Ultimately, results from this in-depth study will lead to the creation of better tools for gathering epidemiological and surveillance information about collegiate drug abuse and provide a foundation for the development of more effective drug abuse prevention and intervention models.

For additional information, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2008-2009: Research Information - Alcohol Industry

Principal Investigator: Susan DeFrancesco, JD, MPH
Start and End Dates: 01/01/2008 to 10/30/2009
Funder: Con Alma Health Foundation 

The primary objectives of this research project, funded by the Con Alma Health Foundation, are to collect data documenting the supply and promotion of alcohol in the areas in and around the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos (ENIP) and to work with the communities of the ENIP to formulate policies to address the supply and promotion of alcohol to the Native communities, based on the data collected. This study is being conducted with the collaboration of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos, Circle of Life Behavioral Health Network.

  • Worked with our community partners from the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Circle of Life Behavioral Health Network and Jim Roeber, an alcohol epidemiologist from the NM Department of Health (DOH), Prevention Research Center (PRC) staff finalized the development of a survey tool for collecting data about alcohol advertising and promotion at establishments that sell packaged liquor (i.e., liquor stores, convenience stores, grocery stores) on and around the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos. We tested the survey instrument for inter-rater reliability and ease of use and made the final revisions. 
  • Developed a Survey Guide that provides instructions for our survey teams about the survey protocol, helpful definitions and reminders and photos of the kinds of liquor to document on the survey form. Lists of alcohol establishments were obtained from the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue and checked and plotted on maps to create itineraries for our survey teams. The surveying is nearly completed (one more control site needs to be surveyed). 
  • Teams composed of PRC staff, our Circle of Life partners, and Jim Roeber have conducted over 100 surveys in the Los Alamos, Taos, and Espanola areas and in our control sites of Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen.
  • Data entry has begun and a data analysis plan has been devised. 
  • Plans are being made to schedule a meeting with our community partners to share the results of the data analysis and discuss ways to present the results to Pueblo community members.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2002-2010: Safe Schools Reports

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: December 9, 2002 – June 30, 2010 
Sources of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department

The production of the Safe Schools Report was launched in 2002 as a collaborative effort of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) with the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) School Health Unit. This report, formerly entitled The Violence and Vandalism Report, is produced from data that all of New Mexico’s 89 local school districts submit annually to the State Department of Education, for the period July 1 through June 30. Legislative statute (Article 1:22,107, Am. 1989) mandates that some of the data is to be reported annually; other information is required by PED policies and procedures, and to fulfill emergency response readiness and “no child left behind” state and federal regulations.

Three objectives are met in producing the report: first, it provides pertinent data for policy and decision makers at all levels of the educational level; second, it offers accurate information about incidents of various kinds of vandalism and violent events and trends in the schools; and third, it includes lists of resources for various interested constituencies about prevention and intervention measures.

For additional information about this project, please contact Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 orLPeñaloza@salud.unm.edu.

2008-2013: Safe Routes to School Project

Principal Investigator: Dr. Theresa H Cruz, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: August 2008 – 
Sources of Funding: NM Department of Transportation

Cochiti Elementary, ABQ, WRTSD 2011The UNM PRC provides technical assistance and evaluation expertise to the Safe Routes to School project of the NM Department of Transportation (DOT). The intention of NM SRTS is to 1) enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school safely; 2) make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and, 3) facilitate planning, development, and implementation of activities to improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity (roughly two miles) of primary and middle schools. Technical assistance to the project includes development and review of SRTS materials and products; research on best practices related to physical activity, obesity prevention and pedestrian and bicycling safety; research on curricula related to bicycling and pedestrian safety and crossing guard training; assistance with SRTS training development and implementation; promotion of SRTS; and, organizational assistance. We also use mixed methods to conduct evaluation of NM SRTS efforts.

For additional information about Safe Routes to School please contact Dr. Theresa H Cruz at (505) 272-4462 or ThCruz@salud.unm.edu 

2002: School Health Training - Zuni Pueblo

Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.
Coordinator: Theresa Clay, M.S.
Start and End Dates: September 2002 – November 2002 
Source of Funding: Pueblo of Zuni

This project was requested by and funded through a contract with the Zuni Healthy Lifestyles (ZHL) program to provide Pathways training in November 2002. The Prevention Research Center's staff provided training for 22 of the ZHL staff and community members, with a follow-up visit on July 23, 2003. Two ZHL staff then implemented Pathways in the schools. The Zuni community is one of the case studies in the Participatory Action for Healthy Lifestyles (PAHL) project, which measures the diffusion of Pathways through venues not directly related to the PAHL project, and compares and contrasts these to sites where Pathways training is implemented as a part of PAHL.

For additional information about this program, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462. 

2003-2006: School Health Education Institute (SHEI) 2005 Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: July 2003 – July 2006
Source of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department, School Health Unit

The focus of this project is to design, conduct, and analyze evaluations of two Institutes that are sponsored annually by the New Mexico Public Education Department: “Health is Elementary,” a two-day training institute for elementary school teachers, and “School Health Education Institute,” a two-day training institute for secondary school teachers. The 5 topics covered at the institutes include school safety, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco and substance abuse prevention.

Activities for this project include reviewing and revising the evaluation documents; designing and conducting pre- and post-tests at each session; and analyzing and preparing a summary report of the findings. In addition, the project includes four-month survey of a sample of the conference participants from each Institute to determine whether the information from the conference has been used or integrated into their lessons. The primary goals in assessing both Institutes are to provide suggestions for improving the conference for each Institute and to improve the value of the information presented.

For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPeñaloza@salud.unm.edu.

1999-2004: Southwest Diabetes Prevention Center (SDPC)

Principal Investigator: John M. Booker, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: October 1999 – September 2004
Source of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Southwest Diabetes Prevention Center was established as a demonstration project to address the growing epidemic of diabetes and related public health problems facing American Indian communities. The various activities and education and training programs enabled building capacity within these communities to come to grips with the problem and to create new solutions. This past year was the fifth and final year of the CDC cooperative agreement, with a change in direction in how education and training programs are offered.

Final Year of SDPC. After careful thought and reviews of the accomplishments of the SDPC since 1999 when it was first established, and an assessment of costs and benefits, a change in direction was implemented in 2003. Responding to local needs, and in partnership with newly developed programs at the UNM-Gallup Campus, a no-cost extension was proposed to CDC, effective through September 2004, to support the creation of a UNM-Gallup diabetes prevention training program that will combine a prevention specialist certificate with an Associates degree in community health. This would institutionalize some of the most innovative and productive program activities developed during SDPC’s existence. The proposal was accepted by the CDC, to provide one year of funding for the new UNM-Gallup diabetes prevention specialist program and to expand and continue the Resource Center, as a collection of the UNM-Gallup Library.

Research. SDPC supported four community-based prevention research projects during the last two years of regular funding. Blessing the Medicine Man, based in Tuba City, AZ, was completed in September 2002. The Navajo Communities in Action for Wellness project changed to a non-research focus with case study evaluations completed to illustrate lessons learned, and Resource Roundtables in June 2003. The Gallup Indian Medical Center – Glucose Control Using Pharmacy-Based Intervention project, begun early spring 2002, held focus groups in July 2002, and the results were used to prepare the Diabetes Quality of Life and Diabetes Knowledge assessment tools, useful for future research endeavors. This project ended in January 2003. The Zuni Healthy Foods First intervention project completed its objectives in promoting healthful eating with education, cooking classes and training in grocery shopping, and conducted post-intervention interviews from January through March. This project was completed in September, 2003.

Training and Education. During 2002-03, SDPC sponsored 8 Rio Grande Institute workshops in Santa Fe. The Summer Research Enhancement Program, co-sponsored by Diné College, was held in Summer 2002 and Summer 2003 at the Tsaile, Arizona, campus. It provided 10 weeks of research training for 17-20 American Indian college students each year, drawn from across the country, and CHPDP hosted two of the 2003 participants in mentored research experiences. SDPC collaborated with the Central Arizona College (CAC) Diabetes Prevention Assistant Certificate Program, to have ten college-level courses (14 credit hours) on diabetes prevention, nutrition, and wellness, offered for regional diabetes program staff at the IHS training center in Santa Fe. SDPC also supported three conferences: The 5th Annual Community Research Conference in November in Window Rock, AZ, that included a Pathways curriculum presentation. The Native Diabetes Prevention Conference, co-sponsored with the University of Oklahoma Health Promotion Programs and Native American Prevention Resource Center, was held in Phoenix, AZ, in January 2003. And the 5th Annual SW Diabetes Prevention Conference was held in May 2003.

For more information, contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462. 

2000-2003: State and Community Partnerships in Tobacco Control - SIP 17-99

Principal Investigator: Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator: Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Coordinator: Lisa Marr-Lyon, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: September 2000 – September 2003 
Source of Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This project established a working partnership with the NM Department of Health (NM DOH) Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program (TUPAC), the NM DOH Office of School Health, the NM Public Education Department (formerly State Department of Education) School Health Unit (NM PED SHU), and statewide coalitions working on tobacco and chronic disease prevention. During the culminating year of this project, PRC staff prepared reports about data from the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) project and submitted them to the NM SDE School Health Unit for the 62 districts that had participated.

An additional set of activities was to build upon the partnership with the NM PED, to assist in planning and implementing the next round of the YRRS that was planned for Fall 2003. Findings from the New Mexico School Tobacco Policy Survey Report and the New Mexico YRRS were disseminated to various stakeholders and project partners, including the NM PED, NM DOH, and school districts throughout New Mexico. Two papers were developed from the project, and presented at national conferences.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2012-2013: Student Health Behaviors: Epidemiological Data in Action with PhotoVoice

Principal Investigator: Linda J. Peñaloza, PhD
Start and End Dates: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013
Source of Funding: UNM Clinical Sciences Translation Center

Dr. Peñaloza’s Health Evaluation and Research Team (HEART) of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) has been funded by the UNM CTSC to add a PhotoVoice component to the Risk Assessment Project for Students (RAPS) pilot program. 

Our long term goal is to improve youth health risk behaviors and protective factors among New Mexico youth through the translation of a culturally-tailored Positive Youth Development (PYD) program, including an evidence-based PhotoVoice component piloted in two New Mexico high schools. The objective of the proposed study is to utilize mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods to (a) evaluate the experience of youth and adults participating in the PYD program, (b) evaluate changes in health literacy, self-efficacy, and community engagement among participants, and (c) evaluate the strengths/limitations of the Photovoice component to increase student participation in the PYD program. 

Our central hypothesis is that adding a PhotoVoice component to the existing PYD program will enhance student involvement in the project and increase participation, particularly among minority, socio-economically disadvantaged, and low academic-achieving students. The rationale is that once we know what works to engage students in New Mexico to help us contextualize and understand health risk surveillance data through this pilot project, we will be able to expand the study to other high schools statewide.

For additional information about HEART activities, the RAPS project or the PhotoVoice supplement, please contact Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, (505) 272-4462 or LPenaloza@salud.unm.edu

2006-2011: Project TRUST (Truth, Responsiveness, Understanding, Self-Determination & Transformation)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica R. Goodkind, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: July 1, 2006 – 2011
Source of Funding: New Mexico Department of Health Office of School and Adolescent Health

The goals of Project TRUST are to develop and share a model and guidelines for culturally-appropriate, client-centered approaches to behavioral health care for Native American youth and their families. We are working to achieve these goals by building a culture of TRUST through:

  • T ruth about historical trauma and current inequities that impact the well-being.
  • R esponsiveness to issues and needs identified by youth and their families.
  • U nderstanding of the effectiveness of traditional indigenous healing practices.
  • S elf-Determination of youth and families to guide their behavioral health services.
  • T ransformation of individuals, families, communities and systems of care.

Project TRUST is a partnership of the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health, New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Regions 1/3, 4-Youth: Reaching Native American Youth through School Based Health Care, NM Assembly of School-Based Health Care, Value Options NM, Service Systems Relations, Navajo Nation Division of Health, Department of Behavioral Health Services, Gallup Indian Medical Center, Behavioral Health Services, University of New Mexico, Department of Pediatrics, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry, Partnerships for Education, Research and Community Service, Gallup-McKinley County Schools Counseling, UNM-ACL Teen Centers, Northern Navajo Teen Life Center, Crownpoint & Thoreau School-Based Health Centers, McKinley Coalition for Healthy & Resilient Youth, and the McKinley Community Health Alliance.

Project TRUST activities include:

  • Comprehensive literature review regarding historical trauma, evidence-based/promising practices, and culturally competent processes for working with Native American youth
  • Community advisory meetings with Native American youth, parents, elders, and service providers to guide the development of the model

- TRUST_Executive_Summary (680 kb)
TRUST_Report (9.21 mb)

Development and dissemination of recommendations with providers, policy makers, and potential funding sources.

Project TRUST Contacts:

Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Jessica R. Goodkind, PhD (505) 272-4462, JGoodkind@salud.unm.edu

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Kimberly Ross-Toledo, Coalition for Healthy & Resilient Youth, (505) 870-7449, kross@niylp.org

Janie Lee Hall, School Health Advocate, NM Department of Health, (505) 863-4561 janie.hall@doh.state.nm.us

2005-2010: Truancy and Drop-Out Program Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda J. Peñaloza, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: August 2005 – June 2010
Source of Funding: New Mexico Public Education Department (PED)

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) has been contracted by the New Mexico Public Education Department to coordinate the evaluation activities for the Governor’s Truancy Prevention Program, first established in 2004. The Initiative is comprised of several projects aimed at preventing and reducing truancy. Some of the activities the truancy evaluation team will be focusing on are: setting process and outcome indicators, development of appropriate data collection instruments, visiting schools to collect feedback from the school community, conducting interviews with stakeholders and analyzing a multi-media campaign based out of one of the participating schools. The goal of collecting the evaluation results is to prevent potential delinquent activity, social isolation, or educational failure via suspension, expulsion, or dropping out.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Linda Peñaloza, Ph.D., (505) 272-4462 or LPeñaloza@salud.unm.edu.

2005-2010: Refugee Well-Being Project

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica R. Goodkind, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: April 1, 2005 – 
Source of Funding: UNM School of Medicine
Research Allocation Committee, Catholic
Charities of New Mexico, St. Joseph
Community Health Services and the UNM
Department of Pediatrics Research Committee
Con Alma 

The Refugee Well-being Project (RWP) is a community-based participatory research study with the goal of promoting the mental health and well-being of refugees in New Mexico through an innovative 6-month program that emphasizes mutual learning and the mobilization of community resources. The project has two components: (1) Learning Circles that occur twice weekly. Each meeting is two hours and involves refugee participants and undergraduates. Learning circles begin with cultural exchange, which provides a forum for refugees and undergraduates to learn from each other through discussions aided by interpreters. Next, one on- one learning occurs as undergraduates and refugee participants work in pairs. Refugee participants choose their areas of learning such as speaking, reading, writing English or learning to complete job applications.

Child and adolescent Learning Circles include homework help, tutoring, and other fun learning activities; and (2) Advocacy that is based on the Community Advocacy model, which has been successfully applied to domestic violence survivors and juvenile offenders. The undergraduate students spend an additional two to four hours weekly (outside of the Learning Circles) advocating for and transferring advocacy skills to their refugee family to mobilize community resources based on unmet needs identified by the family.

The learning and advocacy are two inextricable parts of one holistic program. The program is centered around the Learning Circles, which provide participants with opportunities to discuss their advocacy efforts, share ideas and resources, and get assistance from the interpreters. Besides emphasizing what refugees need to learn to survive in the U.S., the program also focuses on mutual learning, whereby refugees both learn from and teach Americans. Through this process, refugees’ culture, experiences, and knowledge are valued and utilized in the promotion of their well-being. By design, the program has the potential to incorporate the strengths and needs of refugees while addressing multiple aspects of the empowerment process: 1) building skills and knowledge for critical thinking and action (e.g., English proficiency, advocacy skills); 2) changing attitudes and beliefs (e.g., value of own culture and knowledge, self-efficacy); 3) validation through collective experiences; and 4) securing real increases in resources and power through action and systems-based advocacy. The study employs a within-group longitudinal design with five quantitative data collection points over a period of 12 months. Refugees also participate in two open-ended qualitative interviews. 

RWP is funded by the UNM School of Medicine Research Allocation Committee, and the UNM Department of Pediatrics Research Committee. ARWP also involves partnership with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, St. Joseph Community Health Services, and the UNM Departments of Psychology, Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Research Service Learning Program. The Refugee Well-being Project Contacts:

For more information about this project, please contact:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jessica R. Goodkind, Ph.D.
(505) 272-4462
JGoodkind@salud.unm.edu.

2002-2005: USDA Dietary Behavior Survey and Food-Security Core Module

Principal Investigator: Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D.
Coordinator: Shirley Pareo, M.S.
Start and End Dates: September 1, 2002 - February 28, 2005
Source of Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Various causes are proposed for the current widely-recognized issue of obesity and the profound increases in the incidence of obesity throughout the country, and especially among American Indian populations. One possible cause is "food insecurity." Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate or safe foods, or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods is called "food insecurity." To date, the potential link between food insecurity and obesity has been a focus for research for other ethnic groups but it has not been established for American Indian populations.

The purpose of this project is to test the extent to which surveys that were developed to study this link for non-Indian groups actually measure food insecurity and the dietary patterns of American Indian people. This project, funded by the USDA, involves testing the Food Security Core Module in the Pueblos of Laguna and Acoma. Thirty students from each grade - 7th, 9th, and 11th - will participate to test the validity of the surveys at two points in time.

The study will provide the necessary background to continue studying the link between food insecurity and food patterns among American Indians, and the relationship of food insecurity of families and the dietary patterns of their children.

For more information about this project, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.

2000-2003: Youth Tobacco Evaluation Partnerships (YTEP)

Principal Investigator: Gilbert Quintero, Ph.D.
Project Coordinator(s): Eric Chrisp, M.A., Lisa Marr-Lyon, Ph.D.
Start and End Dates: December 1, 2000 – November 30, 2003
Sources of Funding: American Legacy Foundation

This project is being conducted with funding from the American Legacy Foundation (ALF) as a collaborative effort with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program (TUPAC) and other organizations involved in youth-oriented tobacco control efforts. The initial goal was to evaluate a new statewide tobacco youth advocacy coalition, by assessing key youth tobacco prevention strategies in New Mexico through participatory research methods. The focus is to document how New Mexico youth enact empowerment programs, to examine the contributions such youth empowerment programs make to tobacco prevention and control in the state, and determine what “youth empowerment” means in the context of state tobacco control strategies. In 2002-03, the project is exploring the possibility of integrating a “youth evaluation team” into the research methodology, to train youth and thereby involve them in specific action research activities.

A participatory evaluation advisory committee was established with representatives from the partner agencies and organizations, and youth. This committee served as a collaborative forum to assist in developing the conceptual framework to organize project evaluation activities, including the proposed evaluation questions, methods and procedures. Various local youth advocacy coalitions were evaluated and compared for effectiveness in training their advocates, and the extent to which program planning and implementation of activities were youth led and youth conducted. YTEP also evaluated the planning and implementation of the annual New Mexico Youth Power Conference Tobacco Track, as well as its after-event impact.

YTEP is also responsible for evaluating the level of dissemination of findings and lessons learned. In this regard, the findings of YTEP are shared widely, not only with sponsoring agencies and partner organizations, but also with the Centers for Disease Control Office on Smoking and Health, with other Prevention Research Centers, and in articles in journals and at professional conferences. These have included a poster presentation at the annual American Public Health Association meeting, and a paper presented at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health.

For further information, please contact the PRC at (505) 272-4462.